“Good God!” I exclaimed as I shot up in the bed. “It’s Marshawn Lynch!”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” she snapped back, fixing me with a half crazy, one eyed glare, “It’s 3.30 in the morning”
“It came to me in a dream” I said, “It’s been Marshawn Lynch all along.”
“Im gunna fucking stab you first thing in the morning” she snarled, and it dawned on me that she could be serious. “Now go back to sleep.”
And back to sleep I went, dreaming about Marshawn Lynch going into Beast Mode, trucking the shit out of every Linebacker to cross his path, running for 150 yards with 3 TD’s per game in 2013.
A month earlier myself and the other 9 coaches of the infamous BHL gathered to determine draft order for the upcoming season. We had thrown around so many scenarios as to how we could decide but after multiple arguments it seemed we were never going to agree.
That was until the idea of beer pong was presented by highly unpopular commish Gary McAfee. It was one of the few times he manages to get something right but as they say, even the sun shines on a dogs asshole every once in a while.
We huddled into the living room of second year coach Matthew Weir where the table was set up with 30 plastic red cups, filled with beer and ready to go. 10 of the cups were numbered 1 -10 for the corresponding draft picks but the majority of the rest had either SHOT or crude drawings of ejaculating penises (peni? whatever the plural is) on the bottom.
The cups were shuffled around so we could not possibly know which ones were which, not that it mattered however, as some of the shooting was so utterly spasticated-to-the-core that it became a case of bounce and hope.
Basically the idea was every one takes it turn about to bounce a ball into the cup, if you didn’t get it in you had to take a shot of some rancid liquor. If you did get it in you had to sink the beer and reveal either your draft pick or one of the aforementioned penises.
I cannot recall the order the numbers went but the No.1 overall pick was gone pretty early to second year curtain jerker Gareth McStravick. As was No.10 which went to veteran mid-card jobber Paul “Cheese” Corr.
My own shooting was so poor that I missed almost every go and the few times I got it in, I downed my beer only to reveal SHOT which certainly wasn’t going to improve my aim.
It came down to just 2 cups, between me and disgraced reigning Sacko champion Niall Corrigan. 3 and 9 were all that remained.
It has to be said that Corrigan was an absolute mess by this stage simply because he has the stomach of a pre-pubescent girl but his aim is surprisingly good. He must have drank three times as much beer as the next guy but still could not find that all important draft pick.
He stepped up and plopped the ball into one of the last 2 cups with his very first attempt. We decided to sink the 2 beers together and reveal our numbers at the same time but as I was half way through the beer I was told to slow down to let poor Niall catch up. After a slight pause I guzzled the rest and slapped down the No.3 pick on the table leaving poor Niall with the realization he has a terrible pick and is still only 1/4 of the way into his beer.
A good day we all agreed.
But the month that followed, leading up to draft day was nothing but pure hell. The number 3 pick is a strange one this year because you can concede the fact you have no chance drafting either Adrian Peterson or Arian Foster but after that there are some pretty big question marks.
As reigning champion of the BHL I’m under quite a bit of pressure to set the bar even higher in 2013. The No.3 pick certainly gives me a great head start but I absolutely could not settle on a player I really wanted.
Obviously it had to be a Running Back, of that much I was certain but it wouldn’t do to pick Doug Martin or whoever and have to watch 4 or 5 Running Backs, (that I passed on) outperform him every week.
I found myself dismissing Lynch early on, almost subconsciously.
Martin was my original target but something didn’t seem right, I think I was scared off by the potential for the dreaded sophomore slump. When I said to myself “I’m going to take Doug Martin with my first pick” it failed to excite me.
I thought about Ray Rice but then got scared off by the flashes of brilliance shown by Bernard Pierce during the Ravens superbowl run.
I read articles boasting that CJ Spiller was in for a 2000yd season but surely that was too risky.
Finally I asked myself “Is Jamaal Charles glamorous enough for me to take third overall?” and the answer to that of course was no.
Fresh faced rookie coach Mark McLarnon, who has yet to experience the joyous highs and crushing lows of a year in the league was picking fourth overall just behind me so was very keen to know if I was yet to settle on a particular player. I kept humoring him and gave the impression that I knew for sure who I was selecting but the truth is that I had no idea until I experienced the epiphany the night before draft day.
The draft was to take place at the Sandy Bay Marina. We actually managed to scare up a boat for ourselves to sail around aimlessly in a drunken stupor once our drafting was complete. We chipped in for all sorts of BBQ and beer and as soon as we arrived we attacked the supply like a bunch of famine victims being set loose at a buffet.
Mc Stravick even managed to hook us up with a couple of Cuban cigars and I brought two bottles of the finest Merlot £7.49 can buy. We were ready to draft.
There was no internet access so I assumed my hastily prepared, scribbled notes would give me a huge advantage until the rest of those losers started producing colourful charts, laminated lists and pretty booklets. I tutted in disgust and secretly wished I had done the same.
I talked with Gareth earlier in the day and knew he was going with Peterson but as we sat down and lit up our cigars like two Tony Soprano wannabes he said that he would not be at all surprised if second year enigma Johnny Robb (The Host from the Broncos v Ravens ordeal) passed on Foster and instead opted for Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“Jibberish man!” I said “Surely he wouldn’t do something that silly so early.” But the seed had been planted. Maybe my epiphany was wrong I brooded. Maybe Foster is going to fall into my lap. Was that what I really wanted?
In the end it was all for naught as the first round went as follows
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Arian Foster
3. MARSHAWN LYNCH
4. Doug Martin
5. Jamaal Charles
6. Ray Rice
7. Alfred Morris
8. LeSean McCoy (It should be noted that crusty old commish McAfee took McCoy with his first pick after arguing tooth and nail not one month earlier that MJD was the better back and anyone who said otherwise should be buggered by large perverts.)
9. Calvin Johnston
10. CJ Spiller
The Freddy Morris selection with the seventh overall pick may seem like a slight reach but you must understand that Coach Mazzy Weir has a certain sentimental attachment to the player. Faced with being crowned the 2012 Sacko loser in the final week of the season, with just one player left to play, Alfred Morris had the game of his life running for an outrageous amount of yards with multiple TD’s to pull him just slightly ahead of disgraced veteran Niall Corrigan.
For the majority of the draft it was all business from every player. Most of the selections mirrored a mock draft carried out by 10 CPU’s and went pretty much by the books with just a few key anomalies.
Tight End Jimmy Graham went at the end of the second round, not a crazy pick but with the rest of us scrambling to get another of those precious elite RB’s or a stud receiver in the Julio Jones mold I felt it was risky. I knew I didn’t even have to worry about Jimmy Graham because there was always going to be someone who liked him more than I did and would draft him too early. By this stage I had picked up Maurice Jones Drew giving me 2 of the best powerbacks in the whole league.
Going in my strategy had always been to go RB, RB, WR, RB with the first 4 rounds and then get my QB, TE and WR2 in the next 3 rounds in no particular order just best available i.e either take Witten in the 5th and get Matt Ryan in the 6th or go Cam Newton in the 5th and get a lesser TE or WR in the 6th.
When the 5th round came I already had Lynch, MJD, Randall Cobb and Montee Ball. To my total amazement Peyton Manning was still not off the board and being a huge Broncos fan I had set my sights on The Sheriff. Gareth took Cam Newton with the first pick in the 5th and when I noticed Johnny had still not selected a QB I was sure he was going to steal my man but to everyone’s surprise he strolled up and slapped RG3 down on the board. The room erupted and poor Johnny had to face vitriol so severe that it would make a lesser man cry, especially given the fact that most of it was heaped on by his wife who was also in attendance.
I immediately jumped up and selected Manning, content in the knowledge I now had a top 3 QB but imagine my joy when the draft snaked back round to me and my Tight End of choice Jason Witten was still available. My plan was working perfectly, I quickly snapped him up and went to work trying to find my WR2. I ended up being rewarded again when I drafted Redskins freak of nature Pierre Garcon. The starting lineup had all but fallen into place.
About five minutes later the first real cardinal sin was commited by host Matthew Weir when he sauntered up to the draft board with all the grace of a dead whore on a church pew, broke kayfabe and took the Seahawks Defence in the 7th Round.
Everyone got nervous, and started scribbling furiously on their notes, was there now going to be a rush on premiere defenses we all wondered. Order was quickly restored however and the next 2 Defenses selected were during the 11th or 12th round. The Texans taken by Gareth and the 49ers selected by me.
I actually listened to an NFL podcast a week or so later advising players not to bother drafting a defense and just select the team playing the Jets every week. Probably not too bad of a strategy.
Speaking of Round 12 Matthew struck again and took Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, an absolute reach of the highest order. I was able to take perennial top five kicker Matt Bryant in the second last round.
One more round of backup quarter backs and tight ends and the draft was complete. Some very exciting looking teams were put together. I finished up with..
Maurice Jones Drew
BENCH: Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins, Jay Cutler and Fred Davis
A team I could not have imagined putting together in my wildest dreams. I am especially excited to see what rookie receivers Tavon Austin and Hopkins can come up with. The only slight concern is the handcuff of Ball and Hillman. The plan was to drop whichever one of the 2 that falls down the depth chart in Denver but every single indication is that both backs will feature heavily along with Knowshon Moreno for that offense. It would be a nightmare scenario trying to figure out which one to start every week unless a clear No.1 emerges.
My week 1 opponent Gareth also fared very well drafting a team that I cannot wait to play against. Such matchups as Peyton v Cam Newton, Lynch v Peterson, Cobb v Demaryius Thomas, Witten v V Davis and loads more will make it the most anticipated matchup of opening weekend.
As the draft concluded we all packed up the supplies and got ready to set sail on the greatest drunken boat trip ever. Everyone in the group was beyond tipsy by this stage and making the leap towards hammered drunk. I supped down the last swallow of Merlot and stubbed out my cigar like the badass I am and climbed aboard. There isn’t too much else that I remember at this point as everyone roared and celebrated, toasting the awesome teams put together. We sailed over to some forsaken island at some point and attempted a barbecue but everyone got pretty fed up from biting into raw sausage and chicken drumsticks that refused to cook through.
It was only after we sailed away from the island that the days sole atrocity occurred…my beloved Denver Broncos new era flat cap blew off the top of my head as I perched myself at the front of the boat and after many failed rescue attempts by Parkinsons sufferer Mark McLarnon we sailed on without it. (If you look closely you can just about make out the orange dot floating off to the abyss.)
We arrived back at the Marina in pitch black darkness, voices hoarse from inarticulate shouting and terrible singing. The final damage to the boat was estimated around £100 – £200, I suggested we add the price of a replacement Denver Broncos baseball cap into the final total but found myself thoroughly booed and hissed at.
Now that the teams are set in stone the anticipation for the new season is absolutely overwhelming. September 5th almost seems like a mirage in the distance. I know eventually I’ll get there however and hopefully before one of my studs blows an ACL.
You can bet your bottom dollar once that glorious weekend finally arrives that Coach Frank Connolly and The Von Millers Chicken Coop Fumes will be ready to rock and roll.